I consolidated the stories about Fred.


...long live, Hill Blocks View. I miss writing. But the thought of one more round of "welcome backs", or obsessing over stats, or thinking of the clever response to a comment, or the obligation to read everyone else's blog... not so much. So I'll try and write. No pressure. If you feel the need to respond, you can email me. I like email. flipaul@yahoo.com

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Right To A Fairly Improbable Trial.

I pieced the following events together from a dyslexic court reporter's transcripts. I am sure that the fact that I had a cocktail (a bottle of codeine enriched cough syrup) before I commenced the translation makes the events I am about to describe no less believable. Well, a little less believable, but I am almost certain these events might've possibly happened.

Judge: I hereby sentence you to 30 days of probation and a boot to the head. Next.

Bailiff: The defendant, George Zip, is accused with performing a "California stop" at the intersection of 5th and Main, on December 1, 2011.

Judge: How does the defendant plead?

Defendant: Innocent.

Judge: Let's proceed. Bailiff, please show in the jury.

Bailiff: Yessir.

Defendant: Um, pardon me your honor.

Judge: That's for presidents and governors. And you haven't even been found guilty yet.

Defendant: No, your honor, I mean, that's not a jury of my peers. That's a crazy cat lady, her cats (which goes without saying), two hipsters, a Nigerian Elvis impersonator, what appears to be a ball of belly button lint, and a stick of gum.

Judge: Toe jam.

Defendant: Excuse me?

Judge: From what?

Defendant: What what?

Judge: Recuse you from what?

Defendant: Not recuse. Excuse.

Judge: We really have to hear the case first.

Defendant: What? No. You said toe jam.

Judge: Oh. That ball of stuff is toe jam, not belly button lint.

Defendant: Hmm. Maybe if I was close enough to smell it... Regardless; that hardly seems like a jury made up of my peers.

Judge: Yeah, we're kinda moving away from that. We are suffering a budget shortfall, and paying juries was eating into our cocktail party budget.

Defendant: Isn't that one of my Constitutional rights?

Judge: Whatever. Those aren't actually written in stone.

Defendant: They are. Right in front of your bench, on the floor there.

Judge: Oh. Is that what that says? I've been wondering what that said for years. I've just never been that good at reading things upside down. I mean when the words are upside down and I'm not. I suppose if I was upside down and I was holding a book, the fact that I was upside down wouldn't preclude me from being able to read, the letters would still be in the proper alignment as far as my eye was concerned. I mean this is all speculation because I haven't actually tried to read while hanging upside down. Well, I did try once. I hung upside down, but my robes fell down over my face and I couldn't see anything, much less attempt to read. Oh, I know what you're going to say. Why didn't I just take off my robe? Because I wasn't wearing clothes under my robes, and if somebody walked into my chambers and I was hanging upside down and naked they would surely get the wrong idea. Probably. I suppose some people might have guessed that I was trying to read upside down, but I think that it is fairly unlikely. So... hey. Wake up, everybody! That's better. Now, where were we?

Defendant: My constitutional rights?

Judge: Oh yes. So I was saying, just because your "constitutional rights" are apparently "written in stone", is no guarantee. Why, do you know that once upon a time it was illegal to consume alcohol. But that "constitutional law" is no longer on the books. And I don't mind telling you, that I could barely get through my day if I wasn't allowed by law to take massive amounts of psychotropic drugs whenever I feel like it.

Defendant: I don't think that law got repealed.

Judge: Is that true Bailiff?

Bailiff: Yessir, that's a big ixnay on the ugsdray.

Judge: Roger that. And by psychotropic drugs, I of course meant pot.

Bailiff: Nope.

Judge: Heroin?

Bailiff: Still illegal.

Judge: Surely, Oxycontin is allowed.

Bailiff: With a prescription.

Judge: Dammit! Moonshine?

Bailiff: If by moonshine you mean aspirin and tequila.

Judge: What he said. Thank you, bailiff. Now; you have questions about the jury?

Defendant: Yes sir, your honor sir. How is this a fair court? Two of my jurors are actually inanimate objects, I'm pretty sure cats don't understand English, their caretaker is currently involved in a heated debate about the latest in tin-foil macrame fashion and it's effect on alien mind control... with the toe jam, Nigerian Elvis just ate the gum while gyrating wildly and fingering his TCB belt buckle, and the hipsters are discussing if complete anarchy would affect their ability to score sardonic t-shirts and Pabst Blue Ribbon. I just don't think I'm gonna receive a fair trial.

Judge: Nonsense.

Defendant: Exactly! That's what I was trying to tell you.

Judge: No, I meant the fact that you are taking up the courtrooms valuable time, fighting a traffic citation. A rolling stop isn't exactly a capital offense.

Defendant: What's the charge?

Judge: Not coming to a full and complete stop before proceeding.

Defendant: Really?! That's it? Well, I probably did that. My car is a piece of crap. If I stop all the way, it usually dies. What's the maximum sentence if I plead guilty.

Judge: Maximum? Death.

Defendant: Death? I thought you said this wasn't a capital case.

Judge: Is that what that means? I always wondered what a capital case meant. I thought it was just a colloquialism, like "you must be an angel, 'cause you've been running through my mind all night".

Defendant: Objection! That's not a colloquialism. That's a pick-up line. And, I imagine you're still single if that's your best line. You can't give me death for not stopping at a stop sign. Unless I didn't stop and I ran over an entire Cubscout troop. Of blind and wheelchair bound Cubscouts. Intentionally. Multiple times.

Judge: You did that?! Bailiff you heard that confession. Please shoot that man.

Bailiff:  Not gonna do that sir.

Defendant: That wasn't a confession, mr. judge sir. I was saying, that's what it would take to make the rolling stop worthy of the death penalty. Are you sure the maximum punishment is death for this crime?

Judge: Let's see. assault, b&e, no, no, robbery, rolling stop, ritual suicide, oh there's our problem. I read the punishment for ritual suicide. The max sentence for your traffic violation is $35.

Defendant: That's it?

Judge: That's it. It's seems kinda silly to have gone to jury trial on this now, huh?

Defendant: Very silly. I guess I misunderstood what a "California Stop" was.

Judge: What did you think it was?

Defendant: I thought that maybe I was being charged with ruining California's economy. Which seemed a little odd, considering I've never even been to California. Anyway, I am sorry for taking up the court's time. I plead guilty, to not coming to a full and complete stop. Where can I pay my fine?

Judge: At the clerk on the first floor. We take cash, checks, credit cards or Oxycontin.